by Martina Starkey '23
The University of Mount Union had the privilege of hosting the annual Peace and Justices Studies Association (PSJA) conference from October 14 through October 16.
Dr. Nicole Johnson, professor of philosophy and religious studies, and Dr. Michelle Collins-Sibley, professor of English, along with a student leadership team including Clorise Bush, Astro Dean, Mia Holt, Hayley Hunt, Leah Kadlecek, Nev Milnes, Joshua Palmer, Malik Peloso, Gracyn Sage, Martina Starkey and Jared Storm helped the annual PJSA run the conference. Numerous students and professors from Mount Union presented their work throughout the weekend.
Johnson and Collins-Sibley, alongside Mount Union colleagues Dr. Grant Cook, director of choral activities and Margaret Morgan Ramsey Professor in Music, Dr. Terry Davis, professor of history and Dr. Scott Gravlee, professor of philosophy and religious studies, presented on a panel discussing their chapters in the book “Humanities Perspectives in Peace Education: Re-Engaging the Heart of Peace Studies.”
“The PJSA conference offered a significant and timely way for us to continue to put Mount Union on the peace studies "map" so to speak. On the heels of our book and our 2022 launch of the 3+2 Master of Arts in Social Justice in partnership with Methodist Theological School in Ohio, the timing was excellent to host this annual conference of the bi-national Peace & Justice Studies Association,” said Johnson.
Students from different departments presented their work contributing to peace studies.Other students and staff that attended the conference attended different workshops to increase their understanding of peace education.
“As a freshman, it opened my eyes to the opportunities I can have as a psi minor,’ said Milnes. “I was able to get to know more upperclassmen and get advice on furthering my education with the minor. I learned a lot from the sessions from professionals and other students about peacebuilding.”
In addition to the workshops, attendees learned from guest speakers who were invited to campus to speak, including the 2022 Wolf Lecturer, writer E. Ethelbert Miller.